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Rambling on: A tribute to writers

Thursday, July 08, 2004

A tribute to writers

"so you want to be a writer?" by Charles Bukowski (1920 - 1994)

if it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything, don't do it.

unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut, don't do it.

if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your typewriter
searching for words, don't do it.

if you're doing it for money or fame, don't do it.

if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed, don't do it.

if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again, don't do it.

if it's hard work just thinking about doing it, don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody else, forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you, do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to sleep over your kind.

don't add to that.
don't do it.

unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.
and there never was.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles Bukowski is one of those motherfucking authors that never leave your headspace once you let them in, who destroy all of your shit and fuck your mind. I love the man and I am glad to see you do, too.
{for the uninitiated, the profanity above is, well, an homage. offended sensibilities, pardoned.}

sepoy.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Deevaan said...

Thanks for your eloquent homage to Bukowski but he cannot possible fuck my mind more than it already is :)
This, I owe, to the stark raving madness that I have come to love. I look around my cubicle which overlooks a busy flyover in Karachi & check on the old lady who was prevented by a jawan from crossing the road thats been blocked for the last 1 hour as the PMs entourage is expected anytime and she, like other pedestrians has now found a cool shade under a peepal tree while my colleague calls from the US consulate intersection where he's stuck and he has nice things to say about the PMs mother and sisters. So no one can fuck with our minds least of all the Bukowskis or Ginsbergs of the western world.

1:43 PM  
Blogger ZH said...

if you're doing it for money or fame, don't do it.

if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed, don't do it.
I'm glad I was never a writer! :)

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Visit http://www.casinoroyale.com

6:53 PM  

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